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Make the Most of Lawrence Kansas

  • 3 min read

Lawrence Kansas

By Adam Mills
Native Kansan
Owner Source Endurance

You registered for BWR KS and if you’re like many people, you’ve probably never been to Lawrence unless it was on your way to Emporia for Unbound Gravel. Your first thought is probably something like, “how could this college town (University of Kansas) possibly meet the needs of a food snob who demands a good cup of coffee in the morning?”Lucky for you, Kansas is my home and I’m personally very excited to toe the line at the BWR in a few days. 

I wanted to help all of you help yourselves to a great Lawrence experience. I’m not going to cover any of the event aspects or details of the course. We’ll all have to wait for those at a later date.  

Halloween! 

Some of my favorite Halloween adventure memories are in Lawrence, KS. It’s a college town on Halloween so bring your costume and get ready for something as epic as you want to make it. 

Sunflower Bike Shop [Location]

They are basically the hub of the weekend and the entire event and probably the best bike shop in a 500-mile radius (I’m definitely biased). Dan Hughes built it to be a cornerstone of the community. If you don’t that name then you need to brush up on your Unbound Gravel history as he’s the winningest person to ever toe the line at Unbound Gravel in Emporia, Kansas. Dan showed me what gravel was about back in 2006-ish. I had no idea what gravel riding would become. 

Sunflower has gone through a renaissance since I’ve moved to San Diego so here’s the skinny… 

They are a full-service shop. If you need it, they probably have it. If you want to send your bike there and have them build it, perfect! Give them a shout and get on their service schedule. Make sure your bike arrives no later than October 28.

They also have food, coffee and they’ll be serving my favorite beer in the world Free State Brewery, Octoberfest. Also, the new Badass Ale just for the BWR. 

Restaurants: 

I’m keeping this very much centered on a 5-minute walk from Sunflower Bike Shop and the start/ finish line (I told you Sunflower was your hub of the weekend). There are definitely other great eats in Lawrence, but that’s beyond the scope of this insider tips article. 

Free State Brewery [Location]
Probably the best beer in Kansas. Their Octoberfest beer is my favorite but they have quite the listing these days. The food is pretty good too. Check the specials. 

715 Restaurant [Location]
Tuscan Cuisine. One of the few places I make sure to dine when I’m in Kansas. Good cocktails too. 

Sylas and Maddy’s [Location] 
Ice cream made in house. There always seems to be a line and that’s a good thing. 

La Parilla [Location]
Mexican cuisine for people who are Mexican food snobs.  

Burger Stand at the Casbah [Location]
I can only say that I’ve had a life changing burger in two places. Both of those are in Lawrence and only the Burger Stand is still open. If you like burgers, get here.

Limestone Pizza [Location] 
Pizzas 

Zen Zero [Location
Thai cuisine. 

Coffee

Don’t even bother with Starbucks. Downtown Lawrence has always had a bunch of coffee shops and no one except high school kids and soccer moms taking their college kids out for a treat shop Starbucks.   

Sunflower Bike Shop
They have a pretty amazing coffee scene. Also, remember when I said, “hub of the weekend?” Repetition Coffee makes a custom blend for them. 859’ (elevation of the store). 

La Prima Tazza
Across the street from Starbucks. Local. And if you’re staying at the Eldridge, it’s really close.

Breakfast/ Brunch

Ladybird Diner [Location]
The Owner, Meg Heriford won HGTV’s “Grocery Games.”  Go there and you’ll see why. Heriford is also known for helping those in need which makes me want to go there even more.

The Roost [Location]
The last time I went here was the day after Unbound Gravel. I ordered the two biggest breakfasts and there were no leftovers.

Miltons Café [Location]
Miltons has been around since I first went to college back when an upstart file sharing company called Napster was starting up. French Toast is my favorite. 

Lodging: 

The Eldridge Hotel is basically on the start line. 

Spring Hill Suites by Marriott is one block away

Towne Place Suites by Marriott is 2 blocks away. 

Super Duper Insider Tip

Click this link and check out the Best of Lawrence 2021

So, there you have it. My insider tips on enjoying LFK. Hope to see everyone there! 

Source Endurance

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